Since the breakup of Talking Heads, David Byrne's solo work has been notoriously inconsistent. But before that band's dissolution, he made a couple of very fine albums on his own: My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (with Brian Eno) and The Catherine Wheel, a musical score commissioned by Twyla Tharp to accompany her dance project of the same name. Byrne's score is always interesting and frequently brilliant; it draws on the instrumental talents of such session greats as drummer Yogi Horton, percussionist John Chernoff, guitarist Adrian Belew (who had been recording and touring as a sideman with Talking Heads), and, inevitably, Eno. Horton's drumming establishes a muscular funk foundation for much of the material, which also showcases Byrne's underrated guitar playing. Only the lyrics disappoint; they consist almost entirely of clichéd and predictable depictions of domestic suburban angst. Highlights of the program include "The Red House," with its eerie use of deconstructed vocal samples, and the lovely faux-juju "Ade." Highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson